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Coscto, Hawthorne CA / Gift card usage

1 CA, United States Review updated:

I went to the Costco store in Hawthorne this afternoon to purchase some items with a gift card my sister had given me for my birthday. I had used the card once before without presenting my card (I am/was a member). This time I just handed my card over out of habit. The cashier (david) told me my card had expired and that I had to renew it. I said I dont want to do that right now just use the gift card as a gift. He said you can’t do that, you have to have a valid membership to use it. I told him that you do not have to have a membership to use the gift card. He called over a supervisor (alberto) and he stated that I had to renew my membership.

There were a bunch of people in line so I reluctantly renewed my membership paying for it with my gift card. As I was leaving, I thought I will stop off and ask the membership dept if I had to renew to use a gift card. There were 3 guys there and I told one the situation, all three said no I CAN use it without a membership card and that they shouldn’t have made me renew. So one of the guys (didn’t get his name but was very nice) took me back over to the supervisor and told him that he didn’t think I had to renew, the supervisor said yes I did.
A manger walked by and got involved in the conversation (Elea ?). She said that you did not have to have a membership the first time you used a gift card, but you did after that. I told her I did not see that anywhere in writing on the card or the website. She said it wouldnt be fair if people could just keep using it. I told her a hundred dollar gift card is still a hundred dollars whether it is one trip spending $100 or 100 trips spending one dollar. After that I said that was not what was mentioned when my sister bought the gift card. She think said you are just arguing, I am going to refund your money, but I don’t want to argue. (we talked for all of 2 minutes)

I can see how people might abuse a gift card by giving others with memberships to put it on a gift card so they wouldn’t have to ever pay for a membership. But that was certainly not my intention, since I have been a member there for a while. It just upset me that my sister gave me a gift card to buy tangible items with and they tried to get me to renew my membership with it. While the manager did refund my membership cost she was very dismissive and short with me and I don’t appreciate being treated that way.

So as of right now, I have no plans to renew my membership card or go to Costco again.

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  • He
      25th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    This also happened to me. I went to Costco and asked the gate guard if I can use my gift card without a membership and she said yes. So I went in and brought about $90 worth of perishables with my $100 gift card. When I got to the cashier, he said that I needed a membership to make the purchases. I told him that my mom brought it for me last week and that previous cashier told me that I could also come in without a membership card to make purchase. I told him if I could call my mom and use her membership numbers. Then he said that the member have to presently be there to make the purchases.

    So I was like, "Then whats the purpose of a gift card if you can't use it?"
    He told me that, "You can only use it if you have a membership or you can use it at our gas station."

    I argued with him about why I can't just call my mom and have her make the purchases on the phone without her being there. I mean, whats the point of having her being there? A purchase is a purchase. If she have to come here to buy it herself, its the same thing. Maybe if I had a live-video phone, it probably won't make a different.

    Costco Gift Cards is worthless unless you want gas...
    They better change up this policy.

  • He
      25th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    By the Way, Check This out

    Costco has created another convenient way for members to pay for their purchases: The Costco Cash card.

    You must be a Costco member to purchase or reload Costco Cash Cards. Non-members may use the cash cards to shop in the warehouse or online. Costco Cash balances may be used toward membership or merchandise.

    The Costco Cash card features include:

    * A convenient payment option in our warehouses, gas stations, and
    * No expiration date
    * Are rechargeable at any Costco warehouse location
    * Can be purchased in denominations from $25 to $1, 000
    * A supply card or gas card for businesses
    * A means to provide students with money for food, gas, or school and dormitory necessities, while being able to limit their spending
    * Balance can be accessed on, the warehouse "red kiosk" or by calling the toll-free number on the back of the card

    Costco Cash Cards are sent with zero balance. To activate, call the toll-free number that will be included with your card(s).

    Note on Gift Messaging: Due to envelope size, only 80 characters, including spaces, are allowed in the body of the gift message.

    shipping & terms

    Gift Messaging is available. You will have an opportunity to enter a gift message during the checkout process.

    Standard shipping is via parcel package carrier. The estimated delivery time will be approximately 7 - 10 business days from the time of order. Costco Cash cards are sent with zero balance. To activate, call the toll-free number that will be included with your card(s).

    Express shipping is via UPS. The estimated delivery time will be approximately 3-5 business days from the time of order.

    An additional Shipping and Handling fee will apply to express shipments. This fee will be quoted at checkout.

    Please choose your shipping method at checkout.

    Delivery is not available to Puerto Rico. offers merchandise which complements our warehouse product selection. Therefore, most items available on our web site are unique to products can be returned to any of our more than 500 Costco warehouses worldwide.
    [Model 10024438]


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